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Published: July 15th 2018
The Coal Hole on The Strand
Our last full day in London was a pottering sort of one. I slept in and we left the hotel about 10am. We had two major goals in mind. Firstly, to purchase our tickets for Sunday's train journey to Swansea and then to revisit the Courtauld Gallery to see their collection of Impressionists. For the first we went to Victoria station but were dismayed by the very long queues there. Having checked out the W.H.Smith store there (and found the fourth in a series of books I have been reading which I did not know existed) we went across the road to a pub called The Shakespeare for brunch. I thought this most appropriate! While we devoured our egg and bacon sandwich and scrambled eggs we discussed where to next.
We decided to go to Charing Cross station. As this was smaller and had fewer trains, we reasoned the queue for tickets would be shorter and it was just down the road from Somerset House where our other objective was housed.This proved to be so. Only two people in the line before us and we soon had our tickets! We then strolled along The Strand. The day was warm and
Th bar at The Coal Hole
sunny and feeling a little fatigued, we stopped for a refresher at The Coal Hole, a quaint old pub. This is right next to the Savoy and has years of history. From there we continued along the Strand, past St Clement Danes to the beautiful Somerset House. For only 7 pounds each we entered the Coulthard Gallery. If you haven't discovered this hidden gem, I highly recommend it for your next visit to London. The rooms, alone, are worth seeing as they were once the site of the Royal Society. Their collection of Impressionist paintings leaves the recent exhibition shown in Adelaide for dead. We basked in the beauty of Monet, Manet, Cezanne, Gaugain etc and spent a happy hour or two feasting on this display of artistic talent. It also contains pre Impressionist work, some dating back to Renassance Europe and the Enlightenment. A lovely time.
Emerging from the world of Art we walked back to Villiers St, which is a lively side street, leading from the Strand down to the Embankment. Our legs were aching from the unaccustomed amount of walking we have been doing,and we spotted an All Bar One and though a little restt and
Inside the Coal Hole
refreshment was in order. Some nice Eden Valley Riesling and a seat soon had us recovered enough to continue to Embankment Station, where we caught the tube to Oxford St. My footwear was in need of improvement and the sales were on. I found a comfortable pair of sandals for a reasonable price and then in Marks and Spencers.I bought two tops for the combined price of around $30. Bargain. Fletcher bought a new belt and some much needed handkerchiefs. Pleased with our purchases we went to Tottenham Court RoadTube station and then made our way back to the hotel.
About 6pm, having rested we decided an early dinner was in order, so we went to a local restaurant, Le Pico. Fletcher had King Prawns while I opted for duck in a red currant sauce, The serves were huge with half a duck served to me. I managed to eat the breast but could not even touch the rest. Very nice but far too much.Back at the hotel we watched what was dubbed World Cup Athletics, a competition between 8 countries from four continrents. Again I found myself nodding off and went to sleep rather early. All this exercise
is getting to me!!
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